Independent Music

Indie Week: In conversation with Smokey

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Indira Kanawade aka Smokey is a leading Music Producer, Live Act & DJ hailing from Mumbai known for her Underground Bass music and energetic sets. Her inimitable approach to music coupled with unparalleled spirit of dedication has led her to get great appreciation from fellow DJ/Producers such as Moresounds, Om Unit, Kutmah, Midival Punditz, What So Not, Amit (UK), PLO (Outlook/Something Big) Nucleya, EZ Rizer, Dukta Dub, BREED and many more she has shared the stage with.
Her sets are devoted to the deep, dark and minimal sounds from the underground and features elements of Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Experimental Trap and Bass Music. An immensely experienced artist as she is, Smokey manages to use fascinating music to sustain drama and intensity during her performances. Her dynamic and prolific amount of work also includes being a Faculty at Audioqube A state of the art Music Production Academy. Every form of expression Smokey embraces, is steeped in an innate dramatic flair with a musical prowess that uncovers a true artist within.
We had a chat with Smokey for our Independence Day Indie Artist Special about her recent work, Bass Music in India, her role as an educator, upcoming projects and much more.
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 In Conversation with Smokey

1. You are always on the move from doing gigs, to new productions to teaching upcoming djs /producers to conducting workshops and seminars, how do you find that balance amidst everything that you are doing ?

S : I feel so happy that I’m doing great and busy with a lot of things in life. My biggest attribute to any success that I have had is hard work. You can’t get there by any short cut, only by hard work, dedication, risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. I’m always on a schedule and sometimes blanching everything together is difficult but not that difficult as music is the only thing I understand completely. In short, I earn my living through music. I take classes and work on my projects on weekdays, then gigs and workshops Friday through Sunday. Working on different projects at home, is always nice, because I’m in my comfort zone but I try to stay creative and productive by stepping out my comfort zone.

2. Tell us about your recent experience being a faculty at Audioqube and how much has it helped you evolve as an artist.?

S : I’m extremely proud to be a part of Audioqube and it’s truly an awesome experience. It’s been 5 years, I’m working as a DJ instructor at Audioqube and I genuinely believe that teaching, at its finest, is one of the most important jobs in any society. It requires resilience on many different fronts; you must give your best every day and that has helped me to grow, both professionally and personally. After all, knowledge is power, but it’s only effective and far reaching if shared with others. That is what Audioqube is all about. I feel lucky to be surrounded by extremely talented, driven and motivated individuals all believing in the power of good music and art and willing to change the status. This one of the key highlights of my Immersive learning journey so far. Positive vibes always..!!

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3. Would you say Bass music as a culture has developed over the last few years in India? Which other cities are doing exceptionally well besides Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai?

S : Definitely, Yes.. There are agencies, event organizers, festivals supporting bass music and I see a lot more Indian artists killing it and taking the genre forward with experimentation and risks; plus there are some really good crowds who listen to the bass music dedicatedly. Talking about cities, I have received great appreciation for my bass sets in Pune, Shillong, Cochin and many other cities I have played at. You have to keep trying to make it better.

4. Is there a dearth of Venues when it comes to bass music ?

S : Yes, compared to mainstream music. But I’m grateful to certain venues who are supporting bass music.

5. This will be your second outing at NH7 weekender, what lies ahead for Smokey as a performing artist

S : Another Milestone..!! It’s a true honor to be performing at NH7, Last year was an experience; It was a great feeling seeing people having fun to the music I was playing and I’m thoroughly excited for this year. Release-wise, I have been making a lot of new music and I’ll just continue producing music, You can expect more originals / singles and more shows coming up. I get to announce those soon..!!

6. Who has been the biggest musical influence in your career so far?

S : It’s not necessarily a who, but what has influenced me; Our roots, Indian classical music. And this is a question I’m asked a lot by people I talk to. I don’t think I could pick just one as I find the whole industry massively talented but my biggest inspirations – Talvin singh, Karsh Kale, Bandish Project and a lot of my producer friends who are doing crazy things; that motivates me to work even harder and take my productions to the next level each time I open my DAW.

Check out her new mix for Nucleya’s Show on BBC Asia Network:
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